The gods have become human (Acts 14:11)

“When the crowd


What Paul had done,

They shouted

In the Lycaonian language.

‘The gods

Have come down

To us

In a human form!’”

οἵ τε ὄχλοι ἰδόντες ὃ ἐποίησεν Παῦλος ἐπῆραν τὴν φωνὴν αὐτῶν Λυκαονιστὶ λέγοντες Οἱ θεοὶ ὁμοιωθέντες ἀνθρώποις κατέβησαν πρὸς ἡμᾶς,

The author of Acts indicated that when the crowd (οἵ τε ὄχλοι) saw (ἰδόντες) what Paul had done (ὃ ἐποίησεν Παῦλος), they shouted or lifted up their voices (ἐπῆραν τὴν φωνὴν αὐτῶν) in the Lycaonian language (Λυκαονιστὶ) saying (λέγοντες) that the gods (Οἱ θεοὶ) had come down (κατέβησαν) to them (πρὸς ἡμᾶς) in a human form or like a man (ὁμοιωθέντες ἀνθρώποις).  Ovid (43 BCE-17 CE), the Roman poet, wrote about a legend that Greek gods had made a visit, disguised as humans, to this region, but the people there refused them hospitality.  Only one couple took them in.  Thus, these Greek gods changed their house into a beautiful temple and destroyed the other people and their homes.  Aware of this, these Lycaonians in Lystra wanted to be very hospitable.  That is why they thought that the wonderworker Paul and his companions must be Greek gods visiting them.  In Greek and Roman mythology their gods often took on human forms to convey a message to them.  As far as we can tell, there was no Lycaonian language, at least it has not persisted, but it might have been a Greek dialect that Paul and Barnabas did not fully understand.  Do you know more than one language?

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